1)Your keynote at GSC seemed to be somewhat process oriented, as opposed to some of the technical content that we heard throughout GSC. You might say that much of your talk was aimed at developing the skills that we don’t learn in school or thru manuals and software. So what was your thought process in focusing on this aspect of careers in the game industry?
I think a successful composer needs soft skills as well as software skills. Soft skills enable you to draw close to people, collaborate with them, take on a valuable role in helping them achieve their dreams. And by so doing, you are enabled in achieving your own dreams.
2) Did you have a favorite moment or speaker at GSC? and why?
Absolutely. Everything and everyone else outside of the keynote speaker!
3) This is always difficult, but is there one project that you can point to as your favorite, or proudest moment?
I’m very happy with the way the music turned out for Avatar. Consulting with James Horner was huge, and really paid off in the final score.
4) Do you have a memorable/favorite gameplay experience, maybe because the game really surprised you with it’s content, or direction or because of the people you were playing with at the time etc?
Playing Rock Band in the EA skybox during an NBA game between the Phoenix Suns (with Shaq) and the Utah Jazz. Have no idea who won the basketball game, but my bass riffing is now the stuff of legend.
5) You’ve been in this industry for a long time, so for you, what’s the best part about working in the game industry?
Lotsa great things, but it starts with the people. I once had dinner with a large group of videogame composers in LA. Joining us that night was a film composer from France. He was stunned that all of us videogame composers would be hanging out together, laughing, telling stories, complimenting each other’s latest work, etc. He said composers in Europe are openly antagonistic toward one another. And I’ve heard the same kind of thing exists among film composers here. We simply don’t have that. We have a camaraderie that transcends our competitiveness. I think people like Tommy Tallarico, Bob Rice, Jack Wall, Paul Lipson, Brian Schmidt and others are a big reason for that. They have tended to underscore our community with a generous and mutually accepting mindset. And I love it.
More info about his work can be found at http://www.hugesound.com/
Interview written/edited by Dren McDonald